KALONZO’S STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC GETS KENYANS TALKING

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The former Vice President and Wiper Party leader Hon Kalonzo Musyoka statement on Covid 19 has elicited hope among kenyans.

The former VP wrote on social media, Fellow Kenyans, OUR Nation is grappling with an unprecedented crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. This international scourge threatens to penetrate the heart of our very existence..

WORLD ON CORONAVIRUS

Elsewhere in the world, most nations are at a lockdown as the crisis bites. We are at war, not against an adversary with lethal weapons, but against an unforeseen foe that threatens to cripple health systems and economies.

I commend the Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta for taking concrete steps to ensure that the pandemic is contained before it spreads fast among the populace. In this regard, the newly-appointed Health Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Mutahi Kagwe, stands out for mention owing to his outstanding performance.

MITIGATION MEASURES

Mr. Kagwe and his team in particular, as well as the other parties involved in the said mitigation measures, deserve all our support and encouragement as they carry out this noble duty of ensuring that Kenyans are shielded against the scourge.

My sincere appreciation goes to all the medical personnel who are directly involved in the screening and treatment of coronavirus victims. These committed health workers are our true heroes and heroines who are putting their lives on the line every day so that we can stay safe.

I propose that these personnel be rewarded with special bonuses/allowance as a mark of appreciation for their sacrifice and dedication to duty.

FELLOW KENYANS

APART from the grave health risks posed by coronavirus, the pandemic threatens our socio-economic well being. We are staring at a huge economic slowdown as our economy reels from the effects of the scourge.

Companies as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face dire financial straits. History has proven that, during such moments of crises, the most obvious “recourse” taken by employers is effecting of mass lay-offs. I urge employers to avoid sacking their workers at this time, and to consider alternatives such as giving unpaid leave. Every company or SME should come up with alternative mitigation measures other than complete shutdowns.

With regard to the foregoing, I urge the Government to consider giving incentives to companies to mitigate the tough economic times.

Such measures may include giving tax breaks for between the next three to six months, so as to enable the companies to ride over the turbulence.
I am aware that, even without the painful consequences wrought by coronavirus, most Kenyans are caught up in a debt cycle.

In the last couple of years, financial institutions have been reporting a huge spillover of non-performing loans. Yet, this situation is not as a result of deliberate refusal by Kenyans to honour their financial obligations, but rather due to inability to pay due to harsh economic times. Coronavirus has just made a bad situation much worse!.

MONEY LENDERS

I propose that lenders, including mobile (digital) money lenders, consider a three to six-month moratorium on loan and mortgage payments.

On its part, the Government, through the Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, may consider calling for a consultative meeting with the lending institutions to discuss ways of cushioning the financial institutions from financial aftershocks.

Fellow Kenyans,

AN adage goes that it is during times of crisis when the true character of a person is truly manifested. We must strive take care of one another – neighbours, friends, relatives, and even strangers alike. Do not hoard more food than you can eat, and that will eventually go to waste, while your neighbour is sleeping hungry. Jesus tells us to be our brother’s keeper:

Matthew 25:35 – For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.
Indeed, if ever there was a time when each of us were required to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, then that time is now.

PRAYER FOR THE COUNTRY

In conclusion, I thank the President for calling for a National Prayer Day this Saturday. On that day, and in the subsequent days and weeks, all Kenyans should come together and join hands in prayer, meditation and reflection, as we seek divine intervention against coronavirus.

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